on 21 July 2012
I'm an Elton fan but wasn't sure whether to buy his first book. It's not an autobiography, but a book about AIDS; its impact on Elton (and friends tragically lost), the work that his foundation and others have done to combat the disease- in the face of obstacles- and what needs to be done to erase it.
Elton describes movingly how his life was turned round from a low point of drugs, alcohol and bulimia by Ryan White, a boy with AIDS he befriended who was atrociously treated in his home town in the USA. It was only with Ryan's death that Elton cleaned up his life and made a belated but significant effort to combat AIDS, setting up the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Elton is proud of its work and the many international projects it has funded, but goes beyond self-congratulation to address issues of stigma as well as social, governmental, institutional and corporate responses. He praises various heroes in the struggle as well as criticising some (in politics, religion and business) whose bigoted, ignorant or greedy attitudes have exacerbated the problem.
Since for Elton "AIDS might as well stand for "Appalling Indifference to the Disenfranchised in Society"" the cure for the problem involves a wholesale shift from stigmatising various marginalised groups to compassion and love for fellow human beings- a cure that is certainly achievable with genuine will.
I'm very glad i've read the book. It's not the work of a self-serving celebrity dabbler, but of someone who is highly informed, involved and committed to the cause. Elton is to be commended for being so articulate, persuasive and finally inspirational on a subject dear to his heart.
on 30 July 2012
If you want a book about Elton's life, with all the gossip, the music, the costumes, the flowers, the feathers, the tiaras, the tantrums, the ups, and the downs, not to mention his genius, you will have to look elsewhere. This book is not for you. But if you are interested in Elton's charitable endeavors, or the AIDS epidemic, or the social and health issues that face humanity, or if you would like to support the Elton John AIDS Foundation, you should buy this book (proceeds from which benefit the EJAF) and read it.
Elton John should be commended for making his first book not a self-congratulatory autobiography but a plea for help in his chief passion, the fight against AIDS. Yes, Love is the Cure contains many autobiographical elements. Elton explains how his young friend, AIDS victim and activist Ryan White, unwittingly placed the musician on the path to recovery from life-threatening multiple addictions. This, in turn, enabled Elton to do what he wishes he'd done sooner - become a volunteer, activist, and fundraiser extraordinaire to rid the world of AIDS and the mass suffering, social and economic disruption, and terrible deaths it causes.
We read how Elton took many valuable lessons from his own experiences - before, during and after rehab - and applied them to his work against AIDS. For example, through his leadership, the EJAF has been very aggressive in reaching out to marginalized populations, including not just men who have sex with men, but sex workers, intravenous drug users, prison inmates, and the desperately poor, in countries around the globe. EJAF monies are funneled to local organizations in such diverse places as South Africa and Ukraine designed to meet very specific needs. The epidemic of rape against women in South Africa and homophobia in Ukraine are the stuff of outrage, but, as Elton points out, so are politicians and religious leaders in the U.S. who stand in the way of sex education and clean needle exchanges, as well as adequate funding for local AIDS programs that could reach the most vulnerable people.
Elton fervently believes that, given the medical advances that have been made in the treatment of AIDS, if only governments, private companies, nonprofits, and individuals could shed their prejudices and shortsightedness, and do their fair share, we could see the end of AIDS in the foreseeable future. In other words, it's the lack of commitment to eradication of the disease rather than an inability to do what is necessary that is now the chief obstacle in the fight against AIDS. Love is the Cure is eye-opening and inspiring.
on 18 August 2012
im a die hard elton john fan and know everything about his life and his music, however i wasent sure about buying this book as im interested in him more than i am on the aids epidemic so i wasent going to buy this book. But i bought it for holiday and could not stop reading, once youve red the first page you cant take your eyes off.
this books is eye opening and gives you some terrible facts but explains where the EJAF are in almost beating the fight against aids.
defiently worth a read.
on 8 October 2012
very moving story, detailing the tragic loss of a young life, through no fault of his own to aids. the turning point in elton john's life to "get clean" from drugs, alcohol & hedonism and his global crusade in setting up the elton john aids foundation, informing and educating the worlds politicians & population about aids & how best to tackle the problem.